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Who Are the Best-Known Weavers of Navajo Yia Rugs?

If you’re interested in Navajo Yia rug designs, you’ve probably heard about the Berlinda, Helen, and Bisti sisters. These talented women have made Navajo Yia rugs for more than 100 years. However, who are the best-known Navajo Yia rug weavers? Let’s take a look at their work.


Helen Navajo is one of the most well-known weavers of Navajo Yia rugs. She began weaving at age fifteen when she was taught by her mother, Mary Yazzie Bia, and her older sister, Lucy B Begay. Bia’s weavings have received numerous awards, including one from the Gallup All-Indian Inter-Tribal Ceremonial. They are also featured in exhibitions at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum and are featured on page 6 of “The Fine Art of Navajo Weaving.”

Navajo Yia Rugs were once the sole possession of Navajo Indians, but the rugs were later made by other southwestern tribes. Navajo women began making blankets for other people as a form of self-expression but eventually became more interested in weaving rugs and wall hangings for the tourists who flocked to the area.


Known as Navajo Yia, this weaving style is unique in many ways. Besides its practical purpose, a Navajo Yia rug communicates the culture, geography, and way of life of its creators. Often hand-woven, these tapestries feature a rich pattern made up of stylized geometric designs. The wool used to create them is hand-spun, and it is dyed using a mixture of vegetative and aniline dyes.

While many people associate Bistie Yia Rugs with the badlands of the Navajo, it is actually a regional style that has only recently been included with other regional Navajo rugs. These weavings are extremely rare, both in Navajo culture and the rest of the world. Originally, the Bistie style was created in the 1970s at the Old Bistie Trading Post, but that trading post was closed long before Navajos were able to create them. In addition to their traditional design, they were also inspired by Oriental designs. Even today, many Bistie weavers still weave these weavings.

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